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Tweens behaving... like tweens

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Good Boys: misadventures of three US sixth-graders on their way to their first 'kissing party'

Good Boys (15)
Running time 1hr 29 min
Rating **

GOOD Boys, from its advertising and promotion, seems just like any other typical lewd American comedy of recent times. This
sub-genre of suburban shenanigans (helmed by filmmakers such as Judd Apatow, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen) has flooded cinema screens since the mid-2000s, with no sign of stopping.

With the story revolving around three sixth-graders embarking on a series of misadventures on their way to attend their first ‘kissing’ party, the premise of Good Boys is instantly reminiscent of the refreshingly original and hilarious Superbad. However, even with the dream team of Rogen and Goldberg producing, Good Boys couldn’t be saved from the clutches of predictability and mediocrity.

The plot is relatively simple. Three best friends Max, Thor and Lucas, all face their own individual problems while navigating the social politics of the sixth grade and their varying home lives. The writers of the film were certainly hoping that the simplicity of the plot would allow the sketches and bits throughout the film to take the limelight. However, most of the scenes rely on repetitive jokes and unoriginal, immature humour.

There are highlights of course. One of the funnier scenes is when a group of 11 and 12-year-olds apprehensively pass around a bottle of beer. Another is a frat house visit that ends in chaos. However, most of the amusement tends to revolve around the younger characters’ unfamiliarity with sex. It’s funny at first, but after a while, seeing children obliviously holding sex toys while using them as weapons, jewellery and kissing aids loses its comedic edge.

The dialogue can be witty at times. The boys’ use of mature words with no understanding of their meaning can leave the audience laughing. However, this technique is again repetitive and stale. The whole film is peppered with millennial humour and slang which immediately alienates an older audience. That, coupled with the film’s crude and immature sexual comedy, lends the film to appeal to an audience of young teens similar to the age of the film’s characters.

However, key to Good Boys’ promotion was that the stars of the film were too young to even watch it. It’s no surprise then that the film’s jokes will be lost on many. The child actors are just that bit too young to be fully convincing and the lacklustre writing isn’t enough to save the film.

Good Boys is an entertaining romp none the less, just not one that will have you in stitches or wanting to return.

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